After the success of West Germany’s Karl May adaptations, like Winnetou (Harald Reinl, 1963), the East German film studio DEFA decided to make Westerns, meant to be shown only to audiences in the Soviet bloc. Because Winnetou was made in Yugoslavia, DEFA also went there to shoot their Westerns. The first one was made in 1966 by Czech director Josef Mach and starred the former athlete Gojko Mitic in his first acting role - he became the biggest star in the history of East German cinema. In The Sons of Great Bear he plays Tokei-ihto, the son of an Indian chief who was killed by the ruthless 'Red Fox' Clark, who symbolically stands for all capitalist white men.
The Sons of Great Bear is a film about the unrelenting fight for freedom of the Dakota Indian tribe at a time when almost every other Indian tribe has yielded to the white man.

International title
The Sons of Great Bear
Filmmaker
Josef Mach
Country
DDR
Year
1966
Medium
35mm
Length
98’
Language
German
Production Company
DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme
Sales
Progress Filmverleih GmbH
Writer
Liselotte Welskopf-Henrich
Cinematography
Jaroslav Tuzar
Editor
Ilse Peters
Production Design
Paul Lehmann
Sound Design
Bernd Gerwien
Music
Wilhelm Neef
Cast
Gojko Mitic